The key to winning your fantasy baseball league is not how well you draft, but the players you add off waivers. This is extremely important because securing hidden talent and call-ups could replace those late-round selections, even mid-rounders, that aren’t having the best season. Here at NFS, we provide the best picks for players you should grab off waivers now before it is too late. As always, both opportunity and performance are taken into consideration for these players. All players listed are rostered below 40 percent on ESPN. Learn to think like a NERD!
Pavin Smith, 1B/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
Pavin Smith is another solid young prospect coming out of the Arizona Diamondbacks farm system. He had a decent 2020 but didn’t make much of an immediate impact. In 2021, his hitting has become much more production to the team especially as of late. In his last 10 games, Smith has hit .400 with a homer and five RBIs. While that hasn’t evolved into much team success for the Diamondbacks, Smith’s upside is worth picking him up most league formats while the continues to build more consistent hitting. His verisitty will also be big in keeping him in the lineup every game.
Evan Longoria, 3B, San Fransisco Giants
Despite being in the league for 14 years, Evan Longoria has done an excellent job to let father not take him over quite yet. His recent stretch has helped the Giants maintain their running for the top spot in a crowded National League West. In his last 10 games, Longoria has hit .342 with four home runs and 12 RBIs. His OPS is also through the roof at 1.101 in those same games. Longoria should be an immediate pickup in all league formats while he has the hot bat despite his age and injury history over recent seasons.
Mitch Garver, C, Minnesota Twins
After hitting 31 home runs in 2019, Mitch Garver essentially fell off the face of the Earth. He was a major bust during the 2020 season and hasn’t shown any signs of his 2019 form since until this last week of games. In his last eight games, Garver has hit .391 with two home runs, four RBIs, and eight runs scored. In those same games, he has also had more walks than strikeouts. His OBP was also at .541 in those eight games. Garver’s future is unknown but it is clear that this is a good start to rebuilding his career. Garver is worth adding in leagues that he available in as he continues to rebuild his hitting.
Brad Miller, 3B/DH/OF, Philadelphia Phillies
Since 2016 with the Rays where he hit 81 RBIs, Brad Miller hasn’t entirely been the same hitter since then. He has been traded multiple times and has been often used as a pinch hitter. 2021 has been one of the best hitting seasons for Miller since 2016. In his last 10 games, Miller has hit .270 with two homers, five RBIs, and six runs scored. His OPS is also at .950 in those same games. What makes Miller a quality pickup is his potential to become the new starting third baseman with Alec Bohm struggling a ton in his second season. Miller is worth monitoring if he can keep up the hot bat and is eventually moved up on the depth chart.
Kris Bubic, SP, Kansas City Royals
Kris Bubic’s shortened season was exactly what he had in mind. He finished with a 1-6 record and a 4.32 ERA in 10 starts. But at only 23 years old, Bubic has plenty of upside and time for improvement. That is exactly what we are seeing in 2021. Thorugh his last six starts, Bubic has managed a .98 ERA with a .163 opponent batting average. Bubic does need to improve on his command and walk-to-strikeout percentage. But Bubic is still worth adding now in all league formats with plenty of time to make corrections to his production.
Logan Webb, SP, San Francisco Giants
Logan Webb has been an extremely underrated pitcher in the majors. part of that has been to his inconsistencies earlier in the season and a 10-day IL stint in mid-May. but nonetheless, his limited production is worth recognition. Not to mention that he is also becoming a much more consistent pitcher for the Giants in recent starts. In his last three starts, Webb has managed a 3-0 record with a 1.06 ERA. His strikeout to walk ratio has been excellent with a 7:1 ratio. Webb’s recent injury will likely have him available in most leagues. but he should be a priority pickup as long as he keeps this high production.
Adbert Alzolay, SP, Chicago Cubs
Adbert Alzolay was mentioned on a previous waiver wire as a young prospect with some high upside but still needed to do some improvements in order to become an elite prospect in the majors. A month later, we are starting to see his improvements take effect on his production. In his last three starts, Alzolay has managed a 2-1 record with a 2.55 ERA. Alzolay’s next step is to become much more dominant in strikeout command. He only has 15 strikeouts over 17 innings of work in those same three starts. Alzolay is worth picking up and stashing now in all league formats.
Alex Cobb, SP, Los Angeles Angels
While most of Alex Cobb’s career is filled with home run highlights where he’s on the opposite side, recently he has actually been pitching some of the best baseball of his career. This could very likely be from the change of scenery as this is his first season with the Los Angeles Angels. In his last four starts, Cobb has kept a 1.89 ERA with a 2-1 record. Cobb’s strikeouts over nine innings are also on track for a career-high. Cobb’s been known to have serious inconsistencies so it is tough to tell what the future is in store for him but while he is on this solid streak of production, he is worth adding in most league formats.